DOST to support ‘Maglev’ train prototype

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, Oct. 8 (PNA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will support the ‘Maglev’ train prototype, a kind of train developed by a Filipino inventor from Davao City.

Magnetic levitation (Maglev) train is a transport system that uses magnetic levitation, enabling the vehicle to move without touching the grounds.

The DOST said it could travel to a guideway that is similar to the agency’s Automated Gateway Transit in UP Diliman and in Bicutan, Taguig. A Maglev technology is also used in countries such as Japan, China and Germany.

The developer, Jose Guardo, Jr., thinks this could be a solution to the worsening problem on public transportation.

His patented Maglev technology is an elevated ultra-lightweight, mid to high-speed hybrid monorail that uses dynamic hybrid magnetic array rotary propulsion wheel system, which according to him is ideal in transporting commuters from the urban and provincial route.

At the bottom of the coach are components with a mix of electromagnets and neodymium iron boron, a rare earth magnetic material. These magnets were designed to create repulsions from the lower part which enables the train to levitate and propel the coach.

According to an article posted in one of DOST attached agency’s website, the train is also capable of making sharp curves of up to 15 meters. Furthermore, it has a track width of about 1.8 meters x 2.5 meters, which could give the public the needed view of the Manila skyline.

Guardo’s invention could run 200 kilometers per hour, and could also slow down a bit for shorter runs.

Technology Application and Promotion Institute director Edgar Garcia recognized the importance of the inventors’ contributions to the country’s economy.

He said that inventions, which are eventually turned into patents and ultimately become products that employ hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers, help in the advancement of the Philippine economy and improve the lives of many people.

He added that the Philippines was consistent in producing patents through various inventions that became commercially available in both local and international markets. Patents, Garcia noted, was one of the basis for a country’s global competitiveness.

“Before we were ranked 85th among the 147 countries in the global competitiveness rankings, but now we are at 47th and the Philippines is the fastest ASEAN country to achieve such feat,” he said, adding that this was the reason why the DOST’s support to inventors was in full swing.

As such, DOST Region 11 director Anthony Sales and Garcia gave their commitment in further developing the Maglev train system into a working prototype.

Sales said that a one-kilometer track requirement suggested by the Maglev proponents would be installed in the DOST property in Bago Oshiro to further develop and test the reliability of the invention.

The Maglev technology was a product of 15 years of research and development.

Guardo told DOST he was so fascinated with magnets in his younger years , and this has boosted his interest on levitating cars as seen in some sci-fi movies of his youth.

His previous attempt at magnetic levitation was done through an elevator system which he called Multi Car Cyclic Magnetic Elevator. In 2005, he invented the hybrid Maglev monorail together with Domingo Peñaloza while the two were in Shanghai, China.

Maglev is said to be cheaper since it uses aluminum as guideways. It will also use regenerative energy that returns energy to an inverter when the motor decelerates. Solar panels shall be installed on the terminal rooftops. (PNA)